Due to there being Advent Communion assemblies still continuing in the hall where our things were set up, we had to move on Thursday morning into Hannah’s classroom for 2 lessons to that we could continue to teach. It meant that our songs were going to be performed acoustically and slightly differently! We had set up the classroom the night before so it was easy for us to turn up on Thursday morning with our gear ready. One of the lessons we looked at was Forgiveness; they had to decide whether they would want to forgive the person or not forgive the person in the given situation. Some of the situations really got them all thinking and discussing how they would feel being part of the scene. We then sung about how we can Start Again because God forgives us whatever we do, so long as we say sorry to Him for what we have done. Josh also shared a testimony about how he had to forgive someone when he was at school and how challenging he found it but also how rewarding it was to know that he had acted as Jesus would. The pupils seem to appreciate hearing personal stories from us, as I think it makes it seem more relative to them if they have gone through a similar thing.
We had 10 mins to do a quick turn around and to plug all our things back in in the hall ready for our 3rd lesson of the day. We decided that our lesson about evidence for God had gone very well over the past few days and so we challenged the year 10s on this day too. Similarly with what we were talking about, it seemed to work well to engage with them over personal experiences. We had our final lesson of 2013 on Thursday afternoon, with a group of year 7s who were buzzing to be in a lesson with us! We did our friendship lesson and they took part in the friends game with Reece hosting. It was a great way to finish our lessons because this class were up for everything! It meant a lot to see them excited and hyped up after what we were talking about, and they loved doing a Mexican wave during Side By Side!!!!
Our final day in Bury C of E High School started with a bang! (Unfortunately!). We had to be in for an upper school assembly which started at 8:45, so me and Hannah had planned to leave the house at 7:45 to get there for sound check at 8. I had got up, dressed and headed downstairs to make myself some breakfast. On my return, I remembered that I had closed my bedroom door and when I tried to open it, I couldn’t for the life of me make it open. It suddenly dawned on me that all of my belongings (toothbrush, shoes, phone, coat, deodorant, concert clothes, EVERYTHING) was inside my bedroom, behind this stuck door. There wasn’t a lock on it but some how it had managed to get jammed during those 10 minutes that I was downstairs. I told Paul and Hannah and they attempted to open it but it wouldn’t budge, even when they took the handle off, it was stuck! By this time I had to leave and so I had to wear a pair of Hannahs shoes which were slightly too small for me, and head to school for the assembly, leaving Paul to contact someone to come and sort out this issue with my door! Thank goodness that it was able to be resolved and it was the mechanism that had broken and got the door stuck shut, so once that had been prized open by a locksmith, Paul could drop my belongings off to me at the school. The rest of Taste found this incident just a bit funny, seeing as I seem to have a bit of a history with getting stuck with doors! Paul saved the day and brought me the things I needed ready for the rest of the day (thank you Paul!!!!!!!!!!). To top it all off, the school were taking part in Mens cancer awareness and so they had decided to let people wear moustaches to fit in with the Movember theme. We wanted to participate and so we led the morning assembly looking like this ……
After assembly we were asked if we could help some of the pupils with their Citizenship assessment as they were inviting some retired people to the school and had to organise an event where they would be entertaining them for the morning. We were asked to perform some acoustic songs for them and we chose to do Lean On Me and Silent Night. We also had the opportunity to mingle with them and to tell them who we were and what Taste was about. After this event it was all hands on deck as we packed down ready to move to the Metro Christian Centre for our concert that evening.
We had only a few hours to make the turn around, but we managed it and were treated by Hannah and Paul to (my first ever!) Nandos in Bury. Another special evening together with friends before a memorable gig in the evening. We got glammed up and sound checked ready for an 8pm start. I love it when we do gigs… it is always such a laugh! Not only do we perform our songs but we also share a testimony and a bit of a message about Gods love during the time we have with the young people. We had publicised the concert to the school throughout the week and it had also been publicised to the youth at the church. Unfortunately there wasn’t many from the school that showed up, but the group was a great bunch of people and I absolutely loved that evening!
Saturday was slightly more relaxed, but with 3 events planned for the Sunday we had to head out to Radcliffe to set up ready for the next day. It also gave us the chance to do more rehearsing for our Christmas events that we have coming up and the evening was another great night with Hannah and Paul; playing games , watching Strictly and eating pizza! We didn’t half get spoilt this week with delicious food and brilliant company!
On Sunday we went to ‘The Bridge’ for the morning service where we led worship and met some great members of the congregation. We also performed ‘Heaven to Earth’ which is a song written by Viz-a-Viz for Christmas and it talks about how there is more to Christmas than just a baby, but the baby is the son of God and we should be praising Him for sending his son to the earth for us! It was lovely to be complimented by some of the congregation while speaking to them as they said they loved my voice! I really hold on to comments like that. We spent our lunch break with a good friend of Andy and Joys, John Rothwell, and he cooked us an amazing spag bol! We had another service at 6pm at the Bridge so we headed down to the venue to practice some more and to have more pizza with some of the youth of the church! The service had a slighly different audience and we talked about giving everything to God. Josh did really well with his talk on Sunday night; we looked at priorities and where God fits in amongst the rest of our day to day activities and led some reflective worship together.
Livit Reunion was our final event in Manchester; we had a quick turn around after the evening service and soon the hall was filling up with past Livit campers. I didn’t really know anyone but I was able to have a nice catch up with Johnny English, a past Taste member who I had met when Taste came to our church 3 years ago! When the event began Andy introduced Reece and I to the group, as they also hadn’t met us before! We began with one of our new songs ‘You and Me’ and played a Christmas adverts quiz and did our Christmas Carol medley which went very well for the first time doing it! The evening gave them a chance to get to know me and Reece a bit better; we told them about how we got into Taste, why we wanted to join and a little bit about our home experiences so we were very honest with them about what we had gone through. They are a great bunch of people and I was able to have a few discussions with some girls afterwards who were in a similar situation to me. I am really looking forward to spending more time with them at Livit Camp in July.
Our week in Bury had come to an end and we appreciated our bed at the end of Sunday! Goodbyes as we left eachoter at the church and we made our way back to our hosts for a final night before travelling home on Monday. This week has been seriously incredible; to know that we have been a part of hundreds of young peoples lives whilst being at the school and sharing our faith with them, but also to be part of the church services in Radcliffe and to be able to minister to that church was great. Please pray for us as we take some time off now catching up on sleep and gaining energy ready for the next weekend events we have at Billericay. Also, please pray for the children who we have had contact with this week, that the messages will stir something up inside of the them to want to know more and to want to ask questions about knowing God.